Mexico: The elusive truth about safety
If you happened to watch the news or pick up a newspaper (or even just leave the house) this past week, you probably got hit with the flood of news about escalating violence in Mexico's drug war. CNN sent Anderson Cooper to El Paso, Texas, where he reported live in his full war-safari outfit. Larry King had the actor Edward James Olmos telling viewers "don't go to Mexico"—not tourist towns, not megaresorts, not anywhere.
But wait a minute: One of our colleagues here at BT just spent the same week in Tulum, doing a lot of beach-bumming and generally enjoying Mexico as never before. No sooner did she return than another friend of mine set off for Tulum. And yet another just got back from five days in Playa del Carmen. None of them has reported anything out of the ordinary.
There's a disconnect, it seems, between what the pundits are saying and what some vacationers are seeing on the ground in major tourist areas. The last thing we should do right now is belittle a very serious and tragic situation with the warring drug cartels. But what's the reality for travelers? Is the unrest a legitimate reason not to fly to a major international resort? How much has it spread beyond border areas and cartel hotbeds like the Sinaloa state?